Council committed to new use for school

Everything possible will be done to ensure Uplands Middle School in Sudbury is not demolished and the building has a future use.

Suffolk County Council says it is “fully committed” to keeping the building after the director of a charity keen to take on part of the now redundant school claimed tight deadlines could hinder interested parties.

Clive Stobbs, chief executive of Autism Anglia, said he believed getting a plan together with other groups looking at the site in time for autumn – when the council has indicated it wants formal proposals in – was almost impossible.

However, officers at the council maintain they have always been open to flexibly with regard to deadlines and they do not want to see the school, which closed on Friday, knocked down.

“It is important to make it very clear that we are fully committed to working flexibly with any interested parties and to reiterate that we are responding to what organisations need,” said Beccy Hopfensperger, council cabinet member for localities.

“In order to preserve the future use of the building, it is better if it is occupied. Therefore, we would like to find a partner to operate the building on an initial interim basis while developing a plan to accommodate community groups that wish to use the building.”

A meeting between the 10 interested groups and charities was held last Tuesday with council officers.

Despite maintenance costs of £100,000 a year, Autism Anglia, is keen to take on part of the building. Expressions of interest need to be made before August 9.